The lease has been signed. The transition is complete.
Today, the Town of Westport takes over Wakeman Town Farm from GVI.
Mike and Carrie Aitkenhead — the couple whose contract as “town farmers” was not renewed, leading to a townwide controversy and the resignation of 5 Green Village Initiative board members — have agreed to volunteer at the farm.
“They will be a very visible presence,” promises Elizabeth Beller, who heads the transition team.
The transition group plans to continue the farm’s popular programs. Mike’s Staples High School horticulture class will work at the farm; Staples’ Club Green, and the middle school environmental clubs, will also work there after school.
The full transition team will be appointed by first selectman Gordon Joseloff. Former GVI members will be included.
Already, team members have met with
the Board of finance a member of the Friends of Parks and Rec to discuss the umbrella organization that will help the Town Farm retain its not-for-profit status.
Additional meetings are scheduled for early next month. That will pave the way for a $20,000 fundraiser.
“The Board of Finance naturally has questions about funding and capital expenditures,” Elizabeth says. “The town wants assurances that the farm won’t cost them anything. Right now, things look very good, and very positive.”
(A training session, for anyone interested in volunteering at the Wakeman Town Farm, is set for next Sunday, August 28 (9:30 a.m.). Mike Aitkenhead will lead the session. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org)